Posts Tagged ‘Akron Metro RTA’

Akron Metro Wins FTA Grant

October 10, 2020

Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority has received a $450,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

The funding will be used to study the potential economic effects of transit-oriented development on underutilized, publicly-owned or vacant property.

Akron Metro in partnership with the City of Akron will consider if it can provide service that would help to create job and housing opportunities in areas of persistent poverty.

The award was among 35 projects that received $17.6 million in funding.

The Hocking Athens Perry Community Action agency will receive $122,890 to study improved access to health care and other essential services in rural and low-income areas in Athens County.

The project will explore options for expanding Athens Public Transit’s service area and improving scheduling efficiency for better coordination between transit operators.

The agency will partner with CALSTART, a nonprofit organization, to assess scheduling software and analyze fare payment options.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority received two grants.

The Philadelphia-based agency received $742,000 to be used to pay for installation of an automated employee protection system to improve safety for workers doing track work.

SEPTA also received a $495,000 grant to pay for planning and design of an upgrade of transportation infrastructure on the Grays Avenue Corridor.

The agency said the corridor provides critical transportation connections from one of Philadelphia’s poorest communities to Center City jobs, healthcare and other services.

The project will redesign trolley stations to improve accessibility and add safety features such as improved pedestrian crosswalks and traffic controls.

The City of Detroit received $750,000 to improve access to food, transit services and healthcare facilities by identifying gaps in the transportation network in underserved communities.

The study will include a comprehensive survey to understand mobility challenges from the community perspective and assess potential partners for implementation.

Akron Metro Public Views on Strategic Plan

September 28, 2020

Akron Metro RTA will hold a virtual meeting on Tuesday at 6 p.m. to get public views on the transit agency’s 10-year strategic plan.

The meeting can be viewed on Zoom with registration at https://www.akronmetro.org/strategic-plan.aspx.

A recording of the meeting will later be posted on the Akron Metro website.

A summary of the public comments will be presented on Oct. 27 to the Metro board of trustees during its next meeting.

In an unrelated development, Akron Metro has launched a partnership with the Moovit app to allow riders to buy a digital bus pass.

The Moovit app can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android devices.

Riders must have a smart phone to use the app and will show their pass on their device to a bus driver or have it scanned.

The Moovit app incorporates EZfare ticketing while also showing bus lines and trip times.

After selecting a trip using the app riders will see the fare and be able to purchase an e-ticket. Moovit will display the digital ticket and a unique QR code.

Among the transit agencies in Northeast Ohio using app are PARTA in Portage County, MCPT in Medina County, Laketran in Lake County and SARTA in Stark County.

Passengers can use the services to transfer between lines when possible.

Akron Metro Launches Pilot Program, Giving Library Card Holder Free Rides Once a Month

September 9, 2020

Akron Metro RTA has instituted a pilot program whereby bus riders can schedule pick-up times in Cuyahoga Falls, Stow and Tallmadge for the cost of a regular Metro bus fare of $1.25 for a single trip.

The Metro Connect service will be available between 7 a.m. and  5 p.m. on weekdays.

Riders must call 330-376-5353 and will be picked up at a bus stop within the Metro Connect service area, which can be viewed at akronmetro.org.

Riders are encouraged to schedule their reservation at least one business day before travel in order to assure a 15-minute pick-up window.

Metro Connect is a pilot program that agency CEO Dawn Distler said could reshape public transit in Summit County.

“As travel patterns change, we continue to look for innovative solutions to provide more efficient service to the communities we serve,” Distler said.

In another development, Akron Metro has established a partnership with the Akron-Summit County Public Library to provide free rides on the first Thursday of each month.

Library card holders will be able to ride free by showing their card upon boarding a bus.

Up to two children, age 5 or younger, can ride free with an adult with a library card.

The program is not available for transportation on Metro SCAT/Paratransit, Call-A-Bus or NCX services.

Akron Metro RTA to Resume Collecting Fares

June 1, 2020

Starting June 8 riders of Akron Metro RTA will need to begin paying fares again.

Fare collection was suspended shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.

Other changes that will become effective on that date include reopening of the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center and the implementation of a summer contingency schedule that includes revised weekday and Saturday service.

Buses will not operate on Sundays.

Some circulator routes will be suspended and/or remain suspended.

These include Route No. 50 Montrose, Route No. 51 Stow, Route No. 53 Portage/Graham and Route No. 59 Chapel Hill, the DASH, Grocery Bus and x60 service to Cleveland.

Metro officials said they are focusing the agency’s resources on high-volume routes.

Metro said it is working with the Summit County Public Health department to establish new safety standards.

Line-up times at the transit center are being changed to allow passengers for more timely and efficient connections.

The Pfaff center will be open 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Window hours will be 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Akron Metro Passengers Must Wear Masks

April 29, 2020

Starting today (April 29) all passengers riding Akron Metro RTA buses must wear face masks.

The transit agency said the rule, which also affects employees, was made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Masks are nor required for children under the age of 2.

A similar rule was imposed earlier this month by the Stark County Regional Transit Authority.

The mask rule follows guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people wearing cloth face coverings in public areas where it’s hard to maintain social distancing.

Akron Metro to Curtail Bus Service

April 5, 2020

Akron Metro RTA will reduce is bus service on Monday in response to lower ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The public transit agency said fewer buses will operate Monday through Friday but Saturday service will remain unchanged.

Starting April 12 Metro RTA will suspend all Sunday service except for life-necessary paratransit trips (medical, grocery or work).

On the busiest routes, Metro will operate additional buses when feasible to help maintain social distancing.

“It has been our goal to provide this service at 100 percent but this goal is no longer practical,” said Executive Director Dawn Distler.

“We have prioritized our most-utilized bus routes and are running as much service as possible.”

Distler said the reduced schedule will present challenges for some riders.

She also asked that Akron residents avoid taking public transit if it is not necessary to ride.

“Do not put bus operators, Metro team members and other passengers at risk,” Distler said. “This team and this community deserve your respect and your help.”

Cleveland RTA Maintaining Regular Sked for Now; Akron Metro Suspends Some Cleveland Service

March 21, 2020

Although transit agencies across the country have been imposing service cuts in the wake of falling ridership triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority said it is for now operating its regular daily schedules.

RTA said on its website that should the situation require schedule changes it will notify the public through its website (rideRTA.com) as well as other means.

The agency said it is not offering free rides as other transit agencies are doing, including Akron Metro and Portage Area RTA.

The Tower City customer service office has reduced hours and will now be open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

RTA said it began on March 5 an enhanced cleaning protocol for buses, trains, paratransit and non-revenue vehicles in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

This involves cleaning every 24 hours all touchable surfaces on board vehicles with a cleaning agent recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

The cleaning protocol also includes non-revenue and transit police vehicles, all transit centers and all RTA public facilities, bus districts and office buildings.

In the meantime, RTA said passengers riding Red Line trains are subject to delay through March 21 due to a rail maintenance project.

The maintenance is being done between West 25th Street and the Tri-C-Campus district station.

In other Northeast Ohio public transit news, Akron Metro will temporarily suspend on March 23 its X60 route that links Cuyahoga Falls and downtown Cleveland.

In a notice posted on its Facebook page, Akron Metro said the route has no ridership because its patrons are telecommuting to work.

The notice said the suspension was temporary.

Known as the Northcoast Express, the route operates from Cuyahoga Falls Blue Parking Deck to Lakeside and West Third in downtown Cleveland before starting its return trip.

It runs two trips north in the morning and two south in the evening via Ohio Route 8 and Interstates 480 and 77.

Another Northcoast Express route, X61, will continue to operate as scheduled. It departs the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center in downtown Akron and runs to downtown Cleveland, the Cleveland Clinic and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

Route X61 has 11 trips in each direction on weekdays operating via I-77 and West Market Street in Akron.

Metro also said that during the pandemic it will close its Kenmore Boulevard lobby.

Akron Metro Offering Free Rides

March 17, 2020

Starting today (March 17) Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority is offering free rides for all services, including line-service, SCAT, Call-A-Bus, and Northcoast Express.

At the same time Metro is encouraging its passengers to stay home if their trip is not medically or otherwise necessary

“These are challenging times for everyone,” Metro Executive Director Dawn Distler said in a statement. “By offering free fares, we hope to alleviate the financial burden so many folks are unexpectedly faced with in the communities we proudly serve. We also hope this assists with the distancing challenges our bus operators face when interacting with passengers during their trips.”

Distler said the transit agency is doing all it can to continue to serve passengers safely, including following the guidance of the CDC and local health officials.

She said public transportation is necessary for the community to continue to deal with the challenges at hand.

Coronavirus May Prompt NE Ohio Air Service Cuts

March 6, 2020

Cuts in airline service in Northeast Ohio may be coming in the wake of fears of a spreading coronavirus.

United Airlines, which serves Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Akron-Canton Airport, said this week that it will reduce its domestic flight scheduled by 10 percent in April.

JetBlue, which also serves Hopkins, also has announced service reductions and other carriers are expected to follow suit.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that it was not yet known if Hopkins would lose any flights.

United is the largest carrier at Hopkins operating about 25 percent of its flights. From Cleveland United flies to such destinations as New York, Washington, Chicago, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Los Angeles, Denver and San Francisco.

JetBlue flies from Cleveland to Boston and Fort Lauderdale.

From Akron-Canton United offers service via its United Express brand to Newark and Chicago.

United plans to place the flight cuts into its reservations network on Saturday.

It also plans to cut international travel by 20 percent but does not have any international flights from Hopkins.

The Plain Dealer said Hopkins officials reported not yet having been notified about any pending flight cuts.

United has said it will not drop any destinations but is expected to reduce the frequency of service on some routes and make changes to seasonable services.

Coronvirus concerns have depressed airline travel and many carriers are seeking to stimulate travel by temporarily suspending travel change fees and in some cases lowering fares.

The International Air Transportation Association said on Thursday that coronavirus concerns could lead to a loss of between $63 billion and $113 billion in global airline revenue.

Akron-Canton airport officials have said that in response to the coronavirus it has beefed its cleaning and public health activities.

This includes more frequent sanitizing of surfaces and using a stronger, bleach-based solution to disinfect bathrooms and other surfaces, including door handles used by employees and touch pads used to enter secure areas.

Akron Metro RTA also has stepped up its cleaning activities at its downtown Akron transit center that is used by 4,000 to 5,000 daily.

Workers are more frequently applying disinfectant to door handles and surfaces in restrooms.

Metro RTA said it has a stockpile of cleaning supplies on hand as part of its preparedness protocol.

Akron Metro Building Transit Center in Chapel Hill

December 6, 2019

An architect’s drawing of the Akron Metro Independence Transit Center now under construction

Akron Metro RTA broke ground this week on a new transit center in the Chapel Hill area that will enable riders to wait indoors for their bus.

The $900,000 Independence Transit Center will feature a temperature-controlled waiting area that will serve the 600 to 700 passengers who board buses there daily.

The center is being built at the site of a former Bakers Square Restaurant & Bakery and its waiting room will have a capacity of 100.

The center is expected to take a year to construct and will be located on Romig Road

The center will be about 2,500 square feet and have seats with protective overhangs in addition to the indoor waiting room.

Security will be provided by surveillance and be monitored by Metro RTA’s road supervisors and police department.

During construction, Metro buses will lay over by the Metro bus stop in the Chapel Hill Mall parking lot near the J.C. Penney store.